BioEng. new art form? maybe. Adam Molinaro

I found the lecture presented by guest speaker Edward Shanken to be completly unique to any of the other lectures that we’ve had in the last 4 weeks. The GFP bunny that “glowed green” stirred up controversy and maybe some frustration amongst most of the students of the class. It seemed as if the class was trying to shut this poor man down for presenting the the class a controversial science experiment rather than a piece of artwork. I think that this Shanken’s purpose for this class was to up the question of “what exactly is art?” While some may disagree that a genetically modified bunny is not art, Shanken seems pretty convinced that he is part of the development of a whole new genre of art.

Generally art is a (product of) human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind; by transmitting emotions and/or ideas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art) This definition struck me pretty hard when I read it. During Shanken’s presentation I found myself agreeing with everybody that was firing questions to the guy. I found the material that he was presenting to be more of a bioengineering science project that actual art. After reading up on the actual meaning of art I’ve taken a different opinion on the GFP bunny. The idea of the GFP bunny certainly stimulated my senses, emotions, and mind. I think that the reason that this “art” was shutdown so fast in my opinion is that there hasn’t been anything like the GFP bunny or any genetically modified organism to be called art. The bunny is barely scratching the surface of the endless possibilities of bioengineering could change the face of this planet. Will society find these monumental strides in science…art?? acceptable? I don’t really know, only time will tell. Living organisms have lived on this planet for a few billion years. We, human beings living in this technologically advanced world, are witnessing breakthroughs that have NEVER been explored. That green bunny is a symbol of the power that modern science holds. Genetically altering living organisms is something that I don’t think should happen. I think its potentially dangerous to the continuous miracle of life that Earth posses. Look how creepy that guy looks haha. Tying this idea back to the class, I think that the GFP bunny or any bioengineered organism could eventually be considered art by society, but it is too early in the exploration of genetic alteration to tell.

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/splash.htm http://www.viewingspace.com/genetics_culture/pages_genetics_culture/gc_w03/kac_webarchive/gfp_bunny_page/gfp_bunny.htm

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